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Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: The first title in a new mystery series. Attending all the right parties in New Orleans's Garden District is something 59-year-old Charlotte La Rue doesn't understand. She prefers to lead a simple, quiet life and run her house-cleaning service, Maid-for-a-Day. But when a killer strikes, Charlotte proves that murder can't be swept under the rug. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: In New Orleans' historic Garden District, life is all about attending the right parties, impressing the right people, and making the right amount of money (a lot!) It's an attitude fifty-nine-year-old Charlotte La Rue has never really understood. She leads a quiet, simple, practical life--and it suits her just fine. Business is booming at her housecleaning service, Maid-for-a-Day--and in her down time, she loves reading mystery novels and hanging out with her parakeet, Sweety Boy. Everything's perfect. Well, almost everything.  .  .

Charlotte doesn't mind polishing silver, scrubbing toilets, or dusting bookcases--but she can't stand dealing with her rich clients' dirty laundry. And when it comes to the much-talked-about Dubuisson family, there's an awful lot of it--especially since Jackson Dubuisson was found murdered in his study.

Now this exclusive enclave is abuzz with all kinds of gossip--and some very sinister speculation. A chatty socialite keeps hinting that Jackson's extra-marital affair may have been the death of him. His mother-in-law--who's quite possibly senile--has revealed more of the Dubuisson family's secrets than Charlotte ever wanted to know. And then there's his widow, Jeanne. Charlotte refuses to desert her in her time of need--but suspects she may have something to hide. One thing is certain: someone wanted Jackson dead--and that someone is not coming clean.  .  .

Surrounded by possible suspects and hounded by a tenacious police detective, Charlotte wishes she could stick to her own policy of staying out of clients' personal business. Problem is, she's never been able to walk away from a mess. And this is the biggest one she's ever seen.  .  .

From Publishers Weekly: Amateur sleuth Charlotte La Rue will dust her way into readers' hearts in this auspicious debut of a new cozy series. Fifty-nine-year-old Charlotte runs a successful maid-for-a-day business, and many of her clients reside in the exclusive, historic Garden District of New Orleans. Single mother to a successful, handsome young doctor, and with a parakeet named Sweety Boy to keep her company, Charlotte has a straightforward, simple life. That is, until she hears that the dead body of one of her employers, Jackson Dubuisson, has been found in his study. Charlotte has worked for the family for many years. Though she has done her best to keep a professional distance, she can't help feeling sympathy for the widow, Jeanne, left to deal with an invalid mother and a stricken daughter. With Jeanne behaving in an increasingly guilty manner, and finding herself privy to numerous family secrets she'd rather not know, Charlotte realizes that for once she may not be able to mind her own business. Her own niece, Judith Monroe, is one of the homicide cops on the case, and Charlotte is believably torn by the conflicts of duty to the police and the best interests of her long-time client. Cleaning up messes, whether personal or professional, is what Charlotte has done most of her life; with Charlotte La Rue, Colley has created a sensible, likable sleuth whom readers will want to put on a long-term contract. Agent, Evan Marshall. (Feb. 5)Forecast: With supportive blurbs from such cozy queens as Laurien Berenson, Joanne Fluke and Shelley Freydont, plus an eye-catching jacket that dares to put a mop at its center, this first novel should get off to a strong start.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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